FC Barcelona are looking for a new manager who could replace Tito Vilanova. Reports suggest that Guus Hiddink and Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino are the favorites to land the job.
With the departure of Tito Vilanova, due to health problems, the search for the new manager at Barcelona is in full swing. It has been a difficult start to their pre-season campaign for the Catalan giants. The public spat between Pep Guadiola and Vilanova was followed by worrying news of Tito’s deteriorating health. They have already lost Thiago Alcantara to Bayern Munich and now there are questions about the future of Cesc Fabregas at Camp Nou. The Spanish team needs to appoint a new manager quickly to get their pre-season back on track, in the build-up for the upcoming season.
Two names have been linked with the high profile job recently – Guus Hiddink and Gerardo Martino. Hiddink has stepped down from his role as the manager of Russian club Anzhi with immediate effect.
“FC Anzhi has accepted the request of the head coach to terminate their employment relationship.
“The club sincerely thanks Guus Hiddink for his significant contribution to the club and wishes him success in his future career.” – Read a statement released by the Russian club.
Hiddink believes that the time is right for him to leave the club as he feels that Anzhi are now in a position to grow and develop on their own.
“This decision was not easy for me. I always said that my mission at Anzhi could end when the club was able to develop and grow on its own, without my participation. Now that time has come.“
“I am convinced that the club has a great future and I am glad I was part of this large-scale football project.” – Hiddink said.
Hiddink’s sudden resignation has fuelled speculations linking him to the job at Barcelona, with betting sites tipping him as the favourite to replace Vilanova. But recent reports have also linked former Argentine international Gerardo Martino with the job at Camp Nou. He has recently severed his ties with Newell’s Old Boys and is currently on holidays with his families.
Martino was recently linked with Real Sociedad and Malaga, but now it is believed that the Barcelona board sees him as a possible candidate for the job. Barcelona star Lionel Messi has also given his backing for Martino and this could possible tip the balance in his favour.
“I like Tata Martino. He is a great coach and he showed that in the Clausura with what he did for the team, the way it ended and how he did it. He gets his teams playing well and we all respect him.” – Messi said in an interview.
Martino is held with high regards in South America, but he hasn’t coached any team outside the continent. Paraguay’s brilliant performance in the 2010 World Cup under him is considered to be the highlight of his coaching career so far. He is known for his tactical acumen and is widely regarded as a manager in the Marcelo Bielsa mould.
Although Barcelona are yet to make any official announcements, renowned journalists like Tancredi Palmeri and Graham Hunter are reporting that Barcelona have already agreed a deal with Martino and have appointed him for three seasons.
BREAKING NEWS: Gerardo Martino is the new Barcelona manager and has already signed, according to 3 of the 4 spanish sport papers
— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) July 22, 2013
#Barça appoint Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino for 3 seasons
— Graham Hunter (@BumperGraham) July 22, 2013